Jyoti Katoch:

Jyoti Katoch of Carnegie Mellon University was the recipient of a Department of Energy Early Career Grant to probe quantum matter. (Kevin Lorenzi/Carnegie Mellon University photo)

Carnegie Mellon University Aug. 1 announced that assistant professor of physics Jyoti Katoch has received an early career grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The grant will help with Katoch’s research, which is focused on understanding the properties of two-dimensional quantum materials.

The Indian American professor is one of 73 scientists from across the nation to receive funding under the DOE’s Early Career Research Program. The program supports outstanding scientists early in their careers as they develop their individual research programs, according to the university news release.

“I am very excited about receiving a DOE early career research award,” said Katoch in a statement.

“It will enable my research group to perform cutting edge work on 2D quantum materials at the state-of-the-art MAESTRO beamline at the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,” she said. “This award gives LIQUID group members an opportunity to venture into a new direction of performing in-operando angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy with sub-100 nm spatial resolution on fully functional quantum devices at this beamline.”

The grant will allow Katoch, a condensed matter physicist, and her research group in Carnegie Mellon’s Lab for Investigating Quantum Materials, Interfaces and Devices, or LIQUID, to investigate quantum materials using advanced technologies. 

2D materials are the thinnest known materials. When these materials are stacked together, they form heterostructures with unique quantum properties, such as superconductivity. By changing the layers of materials, researchers can finely tune the heterostructure’s electronic and physical properties, the release said.

Under the DOE grant, Katoch will probe the spatially resolved electronic band structure of 2D quantum materials, including those made by stacking graphene and transition metal dichalcogenides, and engineer the materials’ properties by making nanoscale perturbations in superlattices and adatoms found in the materials’ heterostructures, it said.

They will do this by further developing in-operando nanoARPES, an experimental technique that combines spectroscopy and microscopy to study the band structures of quantum systems under non-equilibrium conditions, the university added.

“Supporting our nation’s most talented and creative researchers in their early career years is crucial to building America’s scientific workforce and sustaining America’s culture of innovation. We congratulate these young researchers on their significant accomplishments to date and look forward to their achievements in the years ahead,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.

Katoch joined the Department of Physics faculty in 2018, following research scientist and postdoctoral appointments at the Ohio State University. She earned her doctorate from the University of Central Florida and her bachelor’s degree from Panjab University in India. 

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